Nine Night | Review
The play Nine Night written by Natasha Gordon is based on a Caribbean celebration that takes place over nine nights where friends and family come together to share food, drinks, music and memories, after a loved one has passed away. Natasha Gordon allows you to take a glimpse at a part of Caribbean culture that highlights the good, the bad and the complexities that are at play in families during times of mourning.
The play is set in the kitchen, which for many is the heart of the home, surrounded by patterned wallpaper, pictures, bottles of rum, sersea tea, guineps and more. For those who can relate, the nostalgic décor will take you to a time where you sat in a kitchen with a very similar set up surrounded by family knowing that you are now of an age where you have the privilege of listening to ‘house business’.
In the kitchen you are introduced to the characters who will make you laugh out loud which you find yourself trying to stifle in order to hear the rest of what they say and cry discreetly in order to not distract you from what is unfolding before your eyes. Each character brings their own baggage to the story some more heavy than others, but you get to see the family dynamics and their stories intertwine with part truths and the search for belonging.
Being of Caribbean descent, I often struggle to find my heritage depicted in art, however with Nine Night for each character in the play, there was a family member I could say that person reminded me of. There were times I was so enamored that I forgot I was watching a play. As you sit amongst people you don’t know all laughing together at scenes particularly from the character Maggie, Natasha Gordon was able to create an environment so familiar that as you laugh with the person beside you, you forget that you don’t know their name.
- Chinnelle McLean